Dominic Raab defends CCHQ changing Twitter name to 'factcheckuk'

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Conservatives’ Dominic Raab has defended his party’s press office after it faced criticism for rebranding its Twitter account as a fact-checking service.

The Conservative Campaign Headquarters official account temporarily changed its name from @CCHQpress to @factcheckUK.

It then proceeded to offer commentary on statements made by Jeremy Corbyn during last night’s leaders’ debate.

The move was criticised by independent fact-checking charity Full Fact, which said it was “inappropriate and misleading” and warned users not to mistake the account for real fact-checkers.

The @CCHQpress account is verified by Twitter, displaying a blue tick which is intended to show that a user is genuine.

The social media giant has warned that “decisive corrective action” will be taken if any further attempts to mislead the public are made by anyone, including verified accounts, on its platform during the UK election.

But the Foreign Secretary has denied that the party was seeking to mislead voters and said it was instead disputing Labour “scaremongering”.

“I don’t think anyone can say we were pretending to be independent because it had CCHQ written all over it," he told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

“But the one thing we will continue to do is rebut the nonsense scaremongering being put around by Labour about the NHS."

During the head-to-head, the Labour leader accused Boris Johnson of engaging in “secret” talks with the US about opening up the NHS to American trade companies in a potential future trade deal.

The Prime Minister vehemently denied the claims, saying “under no circumstances” would the NHS would be put “on the table” by the Conservatives.

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